Travel and Vacation with Personal Training Clients

“I wish I could take you on vacation with me.”
Many clients say it aloud, while others are thinking it in their mind.  Why on earth you’d want a health nut on vacation with you is beyond me!  Vacation is a time for letting loose and splurging, right?  But, seriously – I do get it.
Nobody likes to get off track.  It’s hard to back on.
Any good trainer sends their clients off with “homework”.  This could be bodyweight exercises, a cardio plan or a resistance band to aid them in staying strong while on vacation (and serve as a reminder).  Many personal trainers don’t have the time to travel with clients and maintain their business back at home.  And some find it to be unprofessional.
There are personal trainers who successfully travel and vacation with clients while maintaining professionalism. Some go with a family or group for the week, others just a few days for an event. Think about families who bring childcare with them on vacation.  It’s a similar concept. Perhaps you have skills to do both?
If you’re intrigued by the idea of getting out of the gym to see the world, there is potential for it to happen. First, decide how it fits into your lifestyle and work schedule. Then, let people know that you’re available to do it and paint a picture for them of what it looks like.
vacationConsider this:
  • Can you take off work for a week comfortably?
  •  Is the experience worth the possibly reduced pay?

Pay cut?

Most likely the person you’re traveling with will cover your lodging, transportation, and meals.  Some people can afford to pay for your travel and wages and happily do so, while others may not.  If they’re going to a sporting event that you want to attend or on vacation somewhere you’d like to experience, it might be worth it to you to just for the adventure.  Sporting events can also be good networking opportunities.

Negotiating the details of travel and vacation

  1. How many days are you willing to travel for?
    *Perhaps you can leave town for 2-3 days and shift your other sessions around.
  2. Decide what it’s worth to you.
    *Can you settle for a free trip or do you have an hourly/daily rate?
  3. Write down the benefits for the client who is paying the bill.
    *Why would they want to bring you along with them?

Mixing work with pleasure

When traveling and vacationing with personal training clients it’s easy to lose sight of the working relationship at meals and entertaining events.  There’s a fine line between being fun and professional.

Here are a few tips to keep the peace:

  1. Have your own separate bedroom.
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverages at meal times or limit yourself to one if the client is having one.
  3. Excuse yourself from dinner to have downtime shortly after the meal completes.  This will help you avoid joining any late night celebrating that happens.
  4. Set yourself a curfew if you plan to go out at night.
  5. Discuss expectations with your client.  Hours, meals shared, finances, etc.
  6. Make time for yourself, it can be challenging to be “on” 24/7 while traveling.

Your first personal training vacation

Keep your ears open for clients who are competing in events or worried about falling off track when they travel.  You could casually say, “I’m available to travel professionally.  Would that be of interest to you?”  See where the conversation leads you.  If no one is dropping hints, then you can create a newsletter or flier that outlines your services as a traveling personal trainer and provide them to your clients.  Perhaps they aren’t interested but have a friend looking.

If it still feels too personal to travel with individual clients, but you’re craving adventure in your career you can arrange an organized fitness vacation or day hike trip for a group of clients.

Keep it fun by keeping business on your mind

Check with your insurance company and lawyer about coverage when you’re out of town.  You might need a special liability waiver and insurance clause in case something happens to you or your client.  Better safe than sorry!

We’re wondering….

  • Have you ever traveled with a client?
  • What interests you about personal training people on vacation?


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Beverly Hosford, MA teaches anatomy and body awareness using a skeleton named Andy, balloons, play-doh, ribbons, guided visualizations, and corrective exercises. She is an instructor, author, and a business coach for fitness professionals. Learn how to help your clients sleep better with in Bev's NFPT Sleep Coach Program and dive deeper into anatomy in her NFPT Fundamentals of Anatomy Course.